Wednesday, January 24, 2007

THE OLYMPICS SPUR ARCHAEOLOGY

An exciting side result of the Olympics to be held in China next year is that about 1,100 cultural relics were unearthed at Beijing Olympic venue construction sites just last year. The relics were discovered at 10 different venues and included about 700 tombs dating from the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD) to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

Beijing is building or renovating 31 venues for the Games, and has embarked
on a $40 billion upgrade of the city's infrastructure.

Last October, work was halted at the Beijing Olympic shooting venue after
workers found an imperial-era tomb several hundred meters away from the site
of several Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) tombs unearthed during construction.

This is not a new phenomena: during the lead-up to the 2004 Olympic games in Greece, archaeologists discovered a number of antiquities at several Olympic venue sites.

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